Because Minneapolis City moved from the Premier League of America (PLA) to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the club has technically violated tournament rule 202c1a and has been removed from the competition.
The Crows appealed the ruling, suggesting that the language of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) used in discussing the spirit of the law, the point is to keep clubs from making "material changes" throughout the tournament, made it clear that the club should continue because there have been no material changes.
In fact, the club remains exactly the same:
- Our corporate structure is the same
- Our club management is the same
- Our players are the same, and anyway restricted by USOC registration rules
- We remain in the same level in the pyramid
The league change was made in good faith:
- Our league switch was made to reduce travel costs, keeping us viable
- We were in good standing with the PLA
- We are in good standing with the NPSL
Unfortunately, the appeal was denied.
"We are hugely disappointed" said Managing Director Dan Hoedeman. "This rule is a massively unfair burden on amateur clubs, but our only option now is to work hard to qualify for the 2018 tournament via the NPSL--oh, and watch pro teams like Tampa Bay Rowdies that changed leagues play in the 2017 tournament."